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The National Music of America. 39
no higher authority but the Divine head, a fine example of religious democracy. The Scriptural injunction, "Tell it unto the church" (Matt, xviii, 17), meant to them that the church was to be a final arbiter, and the phrase, "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour" (I. Tim. 16), seemed an incentive to the deacons and elders to assert their individual views whenever they could.
This became a very pretty quarrel. Some believed it right to sing, but thought it wrong to sing the Psalms of David; others believed that Christians should not sing at all, but only praise God with their hearts; some believed it wrong for any but Christians to sing; and others thought that only one should sing, while the assembly should join in silence, and respond Amen.1
Boston was of course the first to use the
* Hood's " History of Music in New England," pp. 33 et seq.